The Gift join the Coral de São José to present new album in the Azores

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The band The Gift joins the São José Choir, from the island of São Miguel, to present, in October, in the Azores their latest CD, “Coral”, which has already sold out 25 rooms in Portugal, according to Nuno Gonçalves.

“It’s fantastic, the sound is overwhelming. We went into this a little without knowing what we were going to, in a completely unknown territory, but very desirable, and we realized that, concert after concert, sold out room after sold out room, people are getting to know the record more and more “, said, in statements to Lusa, the pianist and founder of the band from Alcobaça, Nuno Gonçalves.

The new CD, released in September 2022, gave rise to a tour in mainland Portugal, “with 25 dates, all of them sold out”, and The Gift also made a point of presenting it in the Azores, where they have a long history of performances.

“Because there is an ocean separating us, we often forget to do the big productions on the islands. We also come from a small background and we don’t like to be forgotten. The Azores have always been islands where the Gift played a lot, where they were always very well received. I think it’s time for us to give a unique show and a unique tour”, explained Nuno Gonçalves.

Bringing 20 choral musicians from the mainland was “a bit of a difficult mission” and the chance arose for the band to collaborate with the Choir of São José, “which was very interested from the start”.

The musicians have not yet stepped on the same stage, because there is “an ocean that separates them”, but the Choir of São José has already received the staves and by October it should be “all tuned to the smallest detail”.

For now, three concerts are scheduled, at Coliseu Micaelense, in São Miguel (October 21), and at Teatro Faialense, in Faial (October 27 and 28), but the band’s pianist hopes, until then, to be able to confirm more dates on other islands.

“The work that the Choir of São José is doing is remarkable, because they have to rehearse all these pieces. It would be more rewarding for everyone if we could have more dates in the Azores,” he said.

Before arriving in the archipelago, “Coral” still passes through other stages in Portugal and Spain (Madrid), but today the band takes the successes of almost 30 years of career to the island of Flores.

“The concerts we are going to do in October are completely different, more intimate, with a more classic dose. It’s a new way and a new sound that the Gift made on this new album, which I think people will really like”, said Nuno Gonçalves.

“Coral” took “almost a year and a half to make” and was about to be canceled “two or three times” because the band was not “getting the sound” they wanted, but “out of the dark came light” and in September the album was released.

“It was a great journey for us through worlds of music that we had never explored before. We got into choral music, we let ourselves be influenced by composers like Arvo Pärt, like Jóhann Jóhannsson, who write for choir, very contemporary. Little did we know that it was going to be one of the great epics of our lives”, the pianist recalled.

According to Nuno Gonçalves, the new sound “is strange at first, but then it gets in” and has had a “great reception from the public”.

“It’s a record that wasn’t made to play on the radio, it was made to touch people. And realizing that people feel touched by those voices, by that electronics, by the voice of Sónia, who sings mostly in Portuguese on this record, is obviously a source of pride and we are very happy with the path that this record is taking “, he stressed.

Founded in 1967, the Coral de São José, from Ponta Delgada, is the oldest choir in the Azores and has half a century of uninterrupted musical activity.

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